Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps?



By Eric Austin
Fly tied by Eric Austin

The wing on the bulldog is seen on only one other classic salmon fly. The alternating black and yellow swan sections are found on the Ray Mead as well, a fly I've done in the past. I've always liked these striped flies, Kelson's version of the Silver Doctor has stripes of silver doctor blue and yellow.

The version shown here is from Sir Herbert Maxwell, and is intended to be tied in large sizes. Maxwell reported that the fly was a favorite on the Cumberland Eden. The Bulldog was apparently not a popular fly elsewhere however, and is not featured in much of the standard salmon fly literature. Its popularity today is found among full dress tiers, who can't resist giving the wing a go. It's a lot of fun to tie this fly, the Ray Mead, Kelson's doctor, and other flies of this "stripe."

Here's Maxwell's recipe:

    Tag: Gold tinsel and ruby floss.

    Tail: A topping and chatterer.

    Butt: Black chenille (Note: I've used an ostrich herl butt here, as is fairly commonly done today).

    Body: Half flat silver twist with Indian crow tied in Jock Scott wise, a turn of black chenille over their butts; upper half French blue floss.

    Ribs: Silver twist.

    Hackle: Blue cock over blue floss, pintail at shoulder.

    Wing: A number of strips of yellow and black dyed swan, barnyard drake over, with jungle fowl; topping over all.

    Cheeks: Blue chatterer.

    Head: Black varnish. ~ Eric Austin

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